- Evidence & Regulation
- The Eave Hearing Conservation System
- Peak Platform
- Eave Beacons
- The Smart Hub
- Ear Defenders
1. EVIDENCE & REGULATION
Is hearing loss really a problem in noisy workplaces?
(OSHA), noise induced hearing loss is the most commonly reported occupational disease in Europe, which we now know is the number one preventable risk factor for dementia. As understanding grows, employers are increasingly legally and morally obliged to do more to prevent noise exposure, and noise related workplace accidents. Read more on the evidence for occupational deafness here.
What is the cost of noise induced hearing loss to my business?
Dept Work & Pension stats for 2015-16 (the latest available) show that of the top 10 occupational diseases by employer liability insurance claims (24,114), occupational deafness made up 68% of all claims. Health & Safety Executive 2014 figures show that £360m was spent on hearing damage claims in the UK that year. Read more on the impact of occupational deafness to employers here.
Why should we change the way we currently manage noise?
Current noise monitoring practices comply with regulations that are outdated. Written in 2005, they don’t take account of digitisation and technological innovation. The regulations need to change and so does the way companies monitor noise on site. That’s where we come in!
What are the current regulations on noise management?
Check out our guidance on the 2005 Noise at Work Regulations here!
Should we still use foam ear plugs?
At Eave we believe foam ear plugs are only suitable for personal use: flights, sleeping, or loud venues. For industrial use however, any passive hearing protection that eliminates the wearers ability to hear their environment places unnecessary danger on operatives. Foam ear plugs are also incredibly wasteful, with each operative needing to use at least three pairs a day, five days a week. There are safer and more environmentally friendly solutions out there.
Why should we change from passive ear defenders to active ear defenders?
Passive ear defenders are to your hearing what blindfolds are to your sight – they block out all noise so you can’t hear anything. This poses a major risk to an operatives safety on a worksite.
Active ear defenders improve workforce safety by removing the temptation to take off hearing protection to hear the environment, or to talk to a colleague. This is because Active ear defenders are designed with revolutionary Hear-Through technology which allows wearers to continue to hear environmental sound (as opposed to ‘passive’ ear defenders which do not allow any sound through to the ear). Operatives therefore have more situational awareness and do not feel as isolated in their working environment.
Read more on the benefits of Active Hearing Protection here.
2. THE EAVE HEARING CONSERVATION SYSTEM
What is the Eave Hearing Conservation System?
The Eave system eliminates the ambiguity of working in noise, by allowing managers to see their noise onsite. The Eave ear defenders monitor noise both inside and outside the ear cup, these noise levels are processed and sent to Eave’s cloud based noise monitoring platform, Peak. Peak automatically digitises and presents the data on both a digital sitemap, and individualised personal noise reports for each operatives headset.
The Eave ear defenders allow the user to hear their environment, the same microphones that collect noise levels also automatically reduce the levels of hazardous noise. This allows the user to ‘Hear-Through’ the ear defender, but at a safe level. The temptation to remove one’s hearing protection to have a conversation or hear ambient noise in their environment is eliminated.
Read more here.
What does one Eave Hearing Conservation System include?
The Eave System includes:
- 5 headsets and charging cables
- 1 Smart Hub
- 1 ethernet cable and WiFi dongle
- 15 location beacons
- Login to Peak Noise Monitoring Platform
The Eave Hearing Conservation system is sold as a unit. The company only needs to pay for a subscription to the Peak Noise monitoring platform. The hardware comes free! The 24 month subscription cost is £1 per headset per day. Included in this price is:
- Onsite installation
- Onsite training
- Hardware Replacements
- Software Updates
- Technical Support
- Dedicated Account Manager
If an operative leaves after 3 months, can we issue those ear defenders to another operative or do we need to take out another contract?
The price is £1 per headset per day, for a 24 month subscription, you can issue those headsets to which ever individual you wish, they can be cleaned and hygiene kits can be easily changed if they need to be moved from one employee to another – you don’t need to take out a new subscription contract. Your contract is for the headset, not the individual.
What if the headset is lost or broken beyond repair?
Replacement by the client would only be necessary in the very unlikely scenario of either theft or very unreasonable damage as it is a ruggedised ear defender designed for construction and all repairs are covered under the warranty.
3. PEAK PLATFORM
How does Peak work?
The Ear Defenders gather noise level data and note the time and beacon they are closest to. When plugged in or in range, the headsets will upload the noise level data to the Smart Hub. The Smart Hub then transfers the data to the Cloud via the Internet, where it appears on Peak. Peak illustrates the noise data as a series of interactive graphs and noise maps, accessible via computer.
What kind of insights do you gather?
The Eave Peak platform allows users to view the noise levels operatives are exposed to across the site. They can visualise this on a noise map, that highlights daily, weekly, and monthly averages of noise exposure. Each individual headsets’ noise exposure can be explored on a separate panel, indicating an operatives daily exposure. When paired with the FocusLite headset, Peak can also identify whether or not an operative is correctly wearing their hearing protection or lifting it above their ears.
In what situations will data not be seen on Peak from a specific headset?
- The headsets have not been turned on to log noise data
- The headsets have not been close to a Smart Hub to allow data transfer
- There is an issue with the Smart Hub
- There is an issue with the headset
- There is no internet connection
4. EAVE BEACONS
Where is the system installed?
The sensors used by the Eave hearing conservation system are bluetooth location beacons. These beacons cover a 10 m2 radius, although if there is a significant amount of metal interference onsite, you may choose to place them closer together.
What do the beacons do?
Each beacon periodically transmits it’s unique ID number over Bluetooth, which the Eave FocusLite headsets can see. The headset then logs the number of the closest beacon with every noise level measurement. To populate the heatmap, the noise level readings that are logged against each beacon are averaged to give a noise level at each beacon location.
What if one of the beacons falls down from where it was mounted? Or is damaged?
If a beacon falls down, please reattach it as close to the original position as possible. If a beacon cannot be reattached or is damaged or missing, please place them away from the mapped area and inform firstname.lastname@example.org by sending them the beacon ID.
Are the beacons waterproof?
The beacons have an IP-68 rating, meaning they are waterproof to 10m depth, dust-proof, anti-static, shatter resistant and UV resistant.
5. THE SMART HUB
What does the Smart Hub do?
The Smart Hub performs three main tasks:
- Charging the Eave Ear Defenders.
- Downloading the noise data from the Ear Defenders.
- Sending the noise data to the Peak noise mapping and monitoring platform.
How is the noise data transferred to Peak?
In order to allow noise data transfer, the Smart Hub needs to be powered and connected to the internet. Internet connection can be achieved by using one of the following methods:
- Connecting your internet to the Smart Hub via Ethernet (recommended), OR
- Plugging in the 3G USB Stick provided, into the USB port on the Smart Hub, designated for the USB Stick.
If you have multiple Smart Hubs, each will need to have either its own Ethernet or 3G USB Stick connection (only one Ethernet or one 3G USB Stick should be connected to each Smart Hub). Do not connect the the Ethernet and USB stick at the same time.
Does the Ethernet connection work out of the box?
If your network is managed by an IT department or has a custom infrastructure then the Ethernet connection may not work out of the box. Please check with your local IT department if it is possible to connect the Smart Hub to the network.
Where should I store the Smart Hub?
Make sure the Smart Hub is stored away from direct sunlight in temperatures below 30°C. Keep the Smart Hub away from devices with large magnets and large electromagnetic fields.
Where do I store the system if our site moves around?
A portable charging station can be provided; all it needs is a wall plug and internet connection which can be achieved using either the Ethernet cable (recommended) or the 3G Dongle Eave provided. The Smart Hub needs a 110 to 230VAC plug.
How many ear defenders can a station charge at one time? Does the charging station also download the data?
The station can charge up to 7 headsets, a Smart Hub is supplied with every 5 x headset order, which only requires a standard mains point to plug into. The Smart Hub acts as both a charger and a wireless download data point. The headsets don’t need to be plugged into the Smart Hub to download data, it is done wirelessly. The headsets can also be charged by any USB port as it’s a standard connection. However, in most instances customers will charge the headsets over-night whilst data is downloading in a welfare cabin or somewhere similar.
6. EAVE EAR DEFENDERS
What do the headsets do?
The Eave Ear Defender headsets provide hearing protection in noise, ‘Hear-Through’ of sounds for environmental awareness, and noise level measurements.
What are the Eave FocusLite Ear Defenders?
The FocusLite is the second generation active ear defender from Eave. It is lighter than industry standard and includes:
- Internal and external noise monitoring
- Hear-Through technology
- Automated Peak connectivity
Read more about the Eave FocusLite here.
What is ‘Hear-Through’ technology?
Hear-Through technology allows a safe level of sound to be heard through the headset, enabling face-to-face communication. Operatives no longer need to decide between protecting their ears and hearing their environment. Eave’s Ear Defenders will automatically adjust the levels of protection to suit the ambient noise in the environment. Read more here.
Are there in-ear and communication headset models?
Future headset models are in development.
Can users be notified when they reach an area of unsafe noise levels?
As far as we are aware there has never been a scenario where users have even come close to their noise exposure limit when wearing Eave’s Ear Defenders. The current headsets cannot send notifications when users are in areas of dangerously high noise.
When can I see my data?
Depending on the amount of data stored on the headset, download usually takes place within 1 minute, however if a significant amount of data is stored this can take up to three hours. Download takes place whenever the headsets are in range or plugged in to the Smart Hub. The Smart Hub’s range is approximately 10m.
How long does the battery last? How long does it take to charge?
The FocusLite battery lasts 12 hours, and charges in approximately 3 hours. It is advised that headsets are charged at the end of every shift.
Are the microphones calibrated?
The Focus Lite utilises digital microphones, which will be delivered factory calibrated. Read more here.
Is it faster to download data when the Ear Defenders are plugged in (via USB cables) or wireless (via Bluetooth)?
Downloading the data will take the same amount of time in both situations as the data is transferred wirelessly over Bluetooth when the headset is close to the Smart Hub.
Is the FocusLite compatible with walkie talkies?
When the headsets are turned on, the radio conversations should be heard via the ‘Hear-Through’ functionality if held away from the headset so as not to create a feedback loop.
What if my operatives feel like they’re being watched or listened to?
The Ear Defenders record noise levels, time, and relative location. There is nothing that can track or listen to operatives, only their levels of noise exposure. The headset is not listening to the user, it only measures and records sound level, time, and sound’s location.
Does the hearing protection work to full capacity when worn with safety glasses?
Yes the FocusLite can be worn with safety glasses. If an operative has lost attenuation while wearing other PPE, this can be monitored.